We’re well and properly into the last month of the year. For many, the Christmas preparations have already begun. I’ve made a few tentative strides in that area myself, my boys would allow no less. The tree is up, the crèche is out, the Advent calendar is on countdown and, of course, the excitement is growing. I’ve got to work my way through some end of semester responsibilities like marking final papers and signing off on courses before I can fully relax into the season, but I’ve still been making some plans!
On the blog, I am hoping to do a couple of posts on Christmas traditions across Latin America and the Caribbean. One of the musical traditions associated with Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago is parang music. A key component of this música navideña (Christmas music) is the cuatro guitar… a guitar made of 4 (cuatro) instead of 5 strings. I started looking up the history of the cuatro and came across a really interesting article written by Laurie Paternoster over at Life On This Side.
In her article she speaks about a small Andean community called San Bartolome in Ecuador, where for more than 100 years locals have been the centre of a guitar-making industry. Please do read her article to find out more about the beautiful, hand-crafted guitars produced in San Bartolome (including cuatros). You’ll also be able to enjoy her photos, such as this one:
via Birthing Music